Friday, November 10, 2006

Absent Fathers

Being a father and grandfather is a very important role in my life. I wrote a short story once about the profound effect of my own father's absence during much of my life. But for all the sad memories I have of not having had a full-time father, I do know that there were periods of happiness at first. This picture of my dad, brother and one of my sisters just seems to be an idyllic picture of a normal childhood and is one of my favorite's.

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This is an excerpt from my short story, "Reflections of the Father":

"My wife had gone to a women’s retreat over the weekend. It was good to have her back. One or two days without her is tolerable but I miss her by the third day. We sit together, my arms around her as she leans against me. She has so much to say and I am hungry after her absence to hear her voice. At one of the meetings, she tells me that they were asked what one thing about their husband they appreciate the most. “What was your response?”, I ask. She replies that what she appreciates most is how I am with the children. I am warmed and grateful for her response. I have tried hard to be a good father. There is no doubt that I am a better dad then my father and his father before him."

There is so much that we impart to our children without even realizing it. How we treat our spouse, how we treat our children and how we treat our neighbors and friends all goes into the mix of character and integrity and honesty that we want to see in ourselves and our family.

This is a picture of my brother and myself just before Christmas when I was about 4 and he was 2. You can tell I began my chocolate fix very early, see the chocolate smeared around our mouths!

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And here is a picture of myself with the same fat little cheeks that still grace my face:

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Thanks for walking down memory lane for just a short while. When I next post, I'll have some more pics of our grandchildren and perhaps an excerpt from a children's book I'm attempting to write entitled, "My Lucky Summer". It was inspired by a comment that our grandson Jaedan made one afternoon.

His mother and father had just recently separated and life became uncertain in Jaedan's and Ashlynn's little lives. Nancy and I knew that through this time of confusion and disruption that we could provide some consistency until their path became smooth again.

One of the things that Jaedan loved to do was to accompany me into town to make deliveries and run errands. We would stop at the Sno Shack and get a sno cone. Jaedan was sitting on my shoulders and we had just placed our order when he placed his elbows on my head, laid his chin into his hands and contentedly said, "Papa, this is my lucky summer!"

Coming soon to a bookstore near you.



At 3:04 AM, Blogger Becky said...

Either I got up too early, haven't had my coffee yet or something, but your writing always gets me misty-eyed Duane!

Love those photos! : )

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Love this story Duane. As I said before I will by the Lucky Summer story - just let me know when it's out! :-) I'm glad you've started writing it.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Duane and Nancy said...

Thanks Michelle, I'll save the very first available copy for you (after my wife, my mom, my daughter and my grandson).

Now if I can just get a clear vision in my head as to how I want to write the story. If I had a nickel for every time I started over..........


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